Montaigne (1533-92), Skeptic & Ruminator: The Proto-Blogger! (with links to 7 BBC Programs on that Writer)

A pioneer of short essays! with inward ruminations… “I am my own subject.” and “What do I know?” Observations and opinions… This is before blog ads, mind you.

Here is a sample where he contrasts Friendship and Marriage:

“As concerning marriage, besides that it is a covenant, the entrance into which only is free, but the continuance in it forced and compulsory, having another dependence than that of our own free will, and a bargain commonly contracted to other ends, there almost always happens a thousand intricacies in it to unravel, enough to break the thread and to divert the current of a lively affection: whereas friendship has no manner of business or traffic with aught but itself.”

As a child, his father arranged that people only speak Latin with him, so it would be his first language. (Try that with your kids?)

Want to learn more? A friendly place to start is a recent episode on Melvin Bragg’s BBC show In Our Time, which gives an overview of the man: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s0qmj

Here’s a 25 minute Channel 4 (UK) youtube documentary on Montaigne (part of a series on Philosophy & Happiness):
(I hope you like harpsichord music.)

Wikipedia on Montaigne: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_de_Montaigne

A gold mine of opinions on the original man with opinions! A series of 5 BBC radio programs… 5 writers/ thinkers consider Montaigne: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xmlrp

Plutarch inspired Montaigne… (Plutarch inspires the main character in my novel Mysterious Matters of Max Metters… this is what brought me to Montaigne.)

His essays in translation at Project Gutenberg: http://goo.gl/6lEPA

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Published in: on May 2, 2013 at 9:28 am  Comments (1)  
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